What You Need To Know About WordPress Security - MRS Digital Media

What You Need To Know About WordPress Security

What You Need To Know About WordPress Security

It is safe to say that getting hacked is a nightmare. And, worse of all, if it is a business website. Hacking can lead to compromised client information and trust, loss of revenue, and an indefinite loss of a website. But, in business, time is money, and the more time a website is down, the more potential sales can be lost. Fortunately, many WordPress security measures exist to protect oneself, especially the company website.

As a business owner, keeping up with the times means keeping up with modern technology. And part of keeping up with tech is knowing how to protect one’s business best from online threats. Without these measures, the risk is too significant, and no one wants to miss out on an opportunity to grow.

Keep Your WordPress Website Safe

WordPress, a popular hosting site for many businesses, has taken the initiative to include various tips and plugins that can benefit users and offer website protection. These preventive measures vary in design and upkeep. Additionally, they provide proactive tips that one can make part of their business procedures to ensure website optimization and protection.

While being reactionary is great when hacked, it is ideal to be proactive from the beginning to prevent issues from happening in the first place. WordPress.org defines security as “risk reduction, not risk elimination.” A business can take every precaution available to protect themselves, but one day find that someone hacked them. This is why being proactive is so important.

So what is risk reduction? Risk reduction is a practice to reduce exposure to threats. For example, companies successfully practice reducing their exposure by implementing complex passwords, limiting login attempts, installing a security plugin, and more. 

Passwords, Login Limits, and MFAs. Oh My!

A complex and unique password is needed for practically every type of account online. Most importantly, creating unique passwords for different sites is strongly encouraged to keep accounts as protected as possible.  

But remembering those different passwords is nearly impossible, and writing them down on another digital device carries an additional security risk. Nowadays, users utilize web tools to store passwords and even turn to password generators for help. After all, the quantity of passwords is one of many things that a user needs to consider, also the characters, length, and complexities of the created passwords. Passwords are recommended to be about 20 characters long, depending on the website, and encourage or require using a symbol key like a hashtag or equal sign to make passwords more unique and harder to guess.

Two-factor authentication is a great tool to enable if offered by a website. It adds an extra layer of security if a password is compromised and someone uses it to access that account. Usually, when two-factor authentication is active, it will send a text message to the user to confirm that they are the person attempting to enter an account from an unknown device. The website may sometimes have a check box to allow users to skip the two-factor authentication step when signing in from the same computer or phone. Remember that this check box might not be offered depending on the type of business, like a bank.

Apart from incorporating two-factor authentication and complex passwords, there is one other step that can be done to prevent access to your account. That is to limit login attempts. While pretty self-explanatory, it limits login attempts to input a correct password. An attacker will try variations of passwords to access an account. When the hacker surpasses the limit to guess a password, the account will be immediately locked and protected until the account owner resets the password.

While nothing is perfect, implementing these tips can prevent hackers from accessing an account. Even if they guess a password, the hacker would need to access another device to pass the stage of two-factor authentication. 

Plug-Ins That Are Worth It

Maintaining all of these security measures can be overwhelming. To address that, and that the everyday consumer of the internet is not always tech-savvy, WordPress offers plug-ins dedicated to providing security to their built sites. Of course, the user would still have to do some preliminary steps to protect their website, but the plug-ins handle the rest. In addition, companies responsible for these plug-ins release occasional patches to their software to keep threats at bay.

Available on the WordPress Plugin marketplace, Wordfence Security serves as a firewall and provides malware scans specifically to protect your site. It works by identifying and blocking any suspicious traffic and is maintained by a large team dedicated exclusively to this particular service. Additionally, their malware scanner works by checking any files, SEO spam, bad URLs, themes, and additional plug-ins.

Wordfence Security plug-in will review your website for any areas of vulnerability and let you know about them. This plug-in also has additional features that are part of the premium package, but overall, it has an excellent user rating of 4.5 stars in the WordPress plug-in marketplace. 

Checking Logs and CDNs

Activity-logging plug-ins should be part of all websites. It is essential because if an attacker accesses a website without a logging system, it will be impossible to determine what exactly was done. Were passwords changed? Did they send an email blast to our contact list? Delete any pages? While it is imperative to do whatever possible to protect one’s site, it is also impossible to prevent every threat. Logging, at least, helps the website administrator or company identify what was compromised.

Lastly, having a plug-in for a Content Delivery System (CDN) for your website is recommended. A CDN has a firewall functionality that identifies suspicious traffic and prevents it from entering your site. These types of plug-ins are great at avoiding common attacks. 

Walk Away Knowing This

We live in a world where technology changes often. The best we can do as users is to ensure that we are doing everything in our power to protect ourselves and our business.

Have you looked at your WordPress website security measures as of late? MRS Digital Media builds WordPress websites and is familiar with the plugins needed to protect yourself and your business website. Want to learn more? Contact us.

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